Business owners are a special breed of people. They are tenacious and outgoing. They want to build things in the world on their own and they want to do it their own way. But the truth is that most businesses can’t function on their own and business owners would be well served to bring on experts and industry influences to help them share their vision with the world. While it’s tempting to just do your own thing, you are missing out on many opportunities to grow and earn more revenue when you partner with other companies. Here’s how you can grow your business by collaborating with like-minded business owners, products, services, and more.
Scan the Industry
When you look around and see what your business offers the industry, think about what’s missing. You can’t do it all, so don’t even try. If you offer a service, there must be someone else who offers something that would be complementary to what you provide and you could work together. Imagine packages, specials, discounts for referred customers, affiliate linking, or anything else that would incentive another business to get involved with what you are doing and help spread the word about your business in a meaningful – and lucrative – way. For example, you might collaborate with a web developer if you are a graphic designer. You both serve a similar clientele and can help each other grow.
Look at Other Industries
As you scan your own industry looking for gaps, consider how your own business might help plug holes in other industries. You can approach companies in different sectors and industries and offer them a collaboration opportunity that benefits everyone – including your customers. When choosing companies to work with, consider companies of high caliber that you would be proud to stand beside and consider how your company might make them look better (or regrettably, worse) and make decisions accordingly. For example, you might not be interested in working in the cannabis industry, but if your company makes glass, you might seek out a glass bong manufacturer and offer to work with them.
Look in Your Own City or Town
When we think about collaboration, we often think about taking things outside city limits as a way to grow our businesses, but there is a lot happening close to home. Even in the smallest towns, business owners are trying to grow and get more reach. If you offer social media marketing services, you might partner with someone who does content marketing to be able to provide a well-rounded service to small business owners in the area. You don’t have to expand the physical reach of your clientele in order to grow your business. You might find a lot of opportunities close to home. Simply asking for opportunities is a great way to get things done.
Run a Promotion
Consider collaborating with more than one company at a time. There’s no rule-book that says you can only have one business partner or industry partner at a time – unless you or your partner says so, of course. Don’t put constraints on yourself and offer a larger promotion for companies to collaborate with you. Discounts, in-kind services, and more can go a long way to helping you grow your business – and theirs too. Try working with different companies at different times of the month or year. It might make sense to collaborate with a company across town during slower months in the summer to drum up local business. Meanwhile, during winter months, you might decide to work with a company across the country to bridge the gap on quality services that are available.
Be Open to Possibility
Put the call out to potential collaborators and let other companies know you are looking to grow your business. Be open to any and all collaboration opportunities. You never know what might come along for you and provide you with the chance to grow your business. Working with another business owner might provide you with a different perspective. One that you might not have thought of before and a whole new world might open up for you and your business. If you judge ahead of time and carry a misconception about companies or business owners, you won’t be as apt to succeed in new and different ways. Rather than look for someone who can help you, seek out companies that you can help. When we lead with helpfulness, we tend to do better in life and business. It’s a good rule of thumb to follow.